17. The Secret Society: Buzzed

Originally published at: The Secret Society - Buzzed - Ackerly Green


So, I assume it goes without saying that I’ve worn my Herman pin every day since this all started. But Catherine found the last Woolie “clue” I haven’t felt the pull since I broke into what I assume was the Ackerly Green Bookshop where our “A.G” worked.

No pull until yesterday morning. I made the 10-block walk to my barber, and since I’d done it so many times, I wasn’t really paying attention. I passed a brick apartment building that had one of those old call boxes on the outside by the door. The kind with handwritten last names, apartment numbers, and a key pad to ring whoever you’re looking for? The kind that gives off that really grating BUZZZZZZZZ when the person you called unlocks the door? Is that only NYC?

Anyway, I passed the building, heard the BUZZ, which is pretty much background noise in the city, but I happened to look anyway, and there was no one trying to buzz in, but I honestly didn’t pay any attention to it. Until I was walking back post haircut (and beard trim.)

And I heard the door buzz again, with the telltale CLICK of the old metal door electronically unlocking. And the creepiest part: When the door buzzed and unlocked, an automated voice on the old crunchy speaker said “You’ve been granted access. Please enter.”

As you know, I have literally broken the hinges off a cellar door in the middle of Manhattan in recent months, so walking into an apartment building where I don’t technically belong is basically child’s play.

I didn’t break into anyone’s apartment, let me get that out of the way (though I wasn’t 100% opposed to it.) But I did find myself drawn to the window at the end of the third-floor hallway. It looked down on an old courtyard that had probably been forgotten as buildings went up around it over the past hundred years. The hall was cold, but the space around the window was cozy, warmed by the old hissing radiator underneath it.

I was about to head downstairs and try to find a way into the overgrown courtyard, but I “felt” like I wasn’t ready to leave the window. So I started looking over the entire area, sure I was being drawn to it. Eventually, I found a little piece of card stock that had been folded up a few times and wedged between the two parts of the sliding window. It took a couple minutes but I managed to pull it out, and the window started rattling from the wind outside (I guess that’s why someone put the card there in the first place, who knows when…)

The card had a phone number. And the only reason I’m not sharing it yet, is because A) I already called several times, no one answered, and it went to voicemail with no message, where I left a non-casual message about hoping to get a call back, and B) I don’t want to spam whoever this is. Not yet anyway.

I was halfway home before I thought to check my phone, and sure enough, I’d gotten a notification from the app. It read “A light that both blinded me and made me whole.”

I’ve been waiting at the office ever since. Like, sleeping bag waiting. I’ll admit, I haven’t heard a peep from Woolie or the other Ackerly Green in months. I even kept paying for the old office on the other end of the floor because I was worried we’d messed something up by moving. But no sounds there either. 

I hope we aren’t too late.


Come on… like we would needlessly and relentlessly spam a phone number looking for clues… oh right. We (I) would. Good thinking.

I think if it were too late Herman wouldnt have pulled you there. Keep hope alive.

Edit. Is this another reference to the lighthouse we saw a ticket to earlier?


We can’t give up hope, not now, not ever. The Mounties opened the book of briars, and while we may not have the same numbers we have the same dedication. The same common drum calling us.

If the pin called you there, there’s a reason. We have heard of light in magiq before, as the element of Weatherwatch. Is there any way this light is possibly referring to the furtherfire or something similar?


I compiled the clues from the last (dare I call it?) complication leading up to “Vordicriminant” to see if this fits the rhyming scheme somehow:

When the sun god finds one sister who still holds aloft her fire,
And the crooked river reaches where the star-eyed witch retires,
When the lebewesen lights upon a never-ending flame,
And rummaging where dragons flee, you come upon a name,
When the common nail has been enhanced to aid a humbled sentry,
go to higher ground where all who seek knowledge are granted entry.

It doesn’t. Does it make sense as part of other things Woolie has said? About his watch over the beachhead when the Silver first struck?

Edit: A longwinded way to say, “is this part of something larger we may have encountered before?”
Also Edit: My gut says we’ll just have to wait until someone calls Saberlane back to see where this road takes us.


I agree, it seems much more in line with the other phrases we’ve had. To recap we’ve had (in order, I think):

Definately reads the same to me.


These phrases seem eerily familiar to me outside of the events of the past months. I don’t know why.


it sounds like a poem. Ive heard something like this before. Dont remember where for the life of me, though…


It reminds me of time-lost Sullivan’s journal entries we got with each Fragment.


Yes, exactly.


I’m apparently not paying enough attention, and did not realize that the clues were rhyming.

But I definitely see how it could go with the “cold and silver swirling sea,” etc.


He finally woke me up last night.

I was camping in the office, and Woolie showed up around midnight, about an hour after I scared the hell out of the cleaning people.

He was in terrible shape, flickering and faded. Distraught.
What follows is what I pieced together from what I could hear and understand.

“The light that drew me here is almost gone, and I feel myself breaking apart, turning to ash like embers on the wind. I was something real, but now I am vanishing. Held together with a light that wanes by the moment.

I knock and knock to try and get back to what I lost. Who I left behind. But my hands pass through the doors like mist. I can’t return to her.

Molly. My own Molly. The first of my guild who welcomed me. The girl who lived across the world, who I never would’ve laid eyes on had I not found Neithernor. The warmth of her hands. The light in her eyes. A light that both blinded me and made me whole. I never deserved her, but I feel as if I have somehow betrayed her, though I don’t know how, not by following through the open door, to the light of this place. No, it was before we were all made of mist. I broke her heart. The pieces here, still in my hands, but I don’t know how it happened. I don’t know much of anything anymore. All the warmth is fading from your world. Perhaps I belong here, having wronged the ones I love, though how escapes my mind.

I will end here, in ash, undeserving of a way back home to her, and unknowing why.”

Then he knelt in the corner of the office and wept in silence. It was heartbreaking.

I sat beside him. I couldn’t touch him to console him, and he either couldn’t hear me or didn’t want to. I don’t know when, but I fell asleep there with him, and it wasn’t until the sun rose that I noticed he was gone and fragments of phrases had appeared on the walls. Written in what I think is ash.

After a couple hours of toying with them, Catherine and I think this is the order they go:

As the hunter’s moon ascends, find a feast for all the senses
Seek a long-abandoned sun that’s now rotting behind fences
Find a monument to travel and a way to let in light
And a view upon a hilltop that once was used for flight
Feel the wind over the water, where bodies lie below
Then find the lonely, wayward stone where prairie grasses grow.


Is Woolie… Is Woolie gone? Oh my… :cry:

Seems we have something else to solve to take our minds off it. Or maybe it’s not too late? Urg, I hope it isn’t. Question is, are we still looking for places? If so, do we need people to go there?

First thing that strikes me is the “hunter’s moon”. That’s October for northern hemisphere, and April or May for southern hemisphere. Bit of a way off. And how can a stone be “wayward”?

Yay, all the questions!


Mmm. A stone could be wayward if it were pushed somewhere, like by a glacier. Or perhaps moved, like a monument or henge.

Those verses do sound like things to go find.

Is there a reason to assume the order of those verses matter @Saberlane?

Edit. Well theres this in Indiana.



That’s just the order that I posted. I imagine the rhyming couplets could be switched around, that was just our best stab. My gut is that they could be solved in any order.


And…now i notice they rhyme. Good to see poetry still isnt my strength.

6 possible locations. 6 guilds? I see some allusions to guilds. Travel, hunters. I dont think it will pan out but it would be kinda neat if these 6 spots ended up as places for a warding hex.


I see a Mountie near there! @Tinker, is it close enough for you to take a look?


That’s an event in the town where my uni is…but the event doesn’t happen until October. I think the park where it happens would be feasible for me to get to…it’s not a long drive from where I am…but I don’t think I’ll be able to get out there until the weekend

In the meantime, do we expect that the other lines are other clues? Could we get a jump start on finding people for those?


Well the hill used for flight might be the Kill Devil Hills outside of Kitty Hawk where the Wright Brothers first flew.


:tinfoilhat: Underwater graveyards :tinfoilhat:

The only actual graveyard that’s underwater (US, anyway) is all the way down in the Keys (decidedly not close for our FL Mounties unless someone’s planning a vacation in the immediate future).

But I did some digging, and it looks like there’s been at least some plotting (pun not intended) for one off the coast of Australia. Oddly enough, not too far from Sky.

Or, there’s all the myriad places with sunken ships, planes, etc.

There’s also an entire sunken village in Wales, but it’s nowhere near Nim.


A long Abonded sun now rotting behind fences.

Mexico City? La Posada de Sol. An abandonded hotel recently rediscovered and apparently very well guarded from the inevitable urban explorers.

Probably not but its a fun read and beautiful pictures.


Edit, we should turn this into something for Woolie. We will have six locations . We know the warding hex. Maybe we can protect him. Or failing that try to get a message to Molly.

I hate to see a sacrifice in vain. It doesn’t have to be super elaborate. Just a lot if heart. So even if a location isnt near you, you can help build this hex.

Maybe this will be the last warding hex ever. Lets make it so fueled with intent and emotion that they will see it from space…or the fray.